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The Elements

by Oct 9, 2020

There are parts of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that are technical, but there are also parts that are poetic and expansive that require the practitioner’s interpretation. I find that when I spend time reflecting on how I can incorporate these concepts in my everyday life, TCM opens up to me.


One of the foundational concepts in TCM is the Five Elements, this theory creates the framework on how nature interrelates with the body. If you have ever had an acupuncture appointment at the NUHS clinic then you’ve seen those brightly colored posters in the patient rooms. The five elements are water, metal, earth, fire and wood, and each of these elements are associated with different organs, emotions, colors, seasons, tastes and many others.


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The five elements are like TCM’s version of Captain Planet and the Planeteers. Autumn, the lung, the large intestine and their respective meridians are affiliated with Metal. There are certain things that can keep the metal element balanced, such as breathing deeply, and letting things go that no longer serve us. Breathwork, deep breathing, and Qi Gong can all help strengthen and tonify the lungs. The list goes on and on, but of course acupuncture is a great way to bring harmony to the metal element.


Tai Chi at dawn


Well, it’s week five again and that means it’s time for the first round of exams. No matter how prepared I am, I always get really nervous, at this point I think it’s just part of my process. To my fellow students study hard, but make sure you carve out time for some self-care and sleep.

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About the Author

Danielle Pureifory

Danielle Pureifory

My name is Danielle, and I am currently in my last trimester in the MSOM program here at NUHS – Illinois. I’m a travel addict, animal lover, and a hobby farmer who is passionate about helping the under-resourced community. I look forward to sharing my journey with you, and I hope you read something that inspires you to start your own journey.


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